1. What are the main symptoms of spinal cord tumours?
The symptoms are caused by compression or tumour infiltration of the spinal cord or spinal nerves and they vary depending on tumour location.
Weakness of the extremities and sensory loss are hallmark symptoms and they may be associated with pain, incontinence or gait disturbances.
It is important to know that even a slow onset of symptoms can rapidly progress to paralysis and hence early surgery is often related to better long term outcome.
2. How do spinal cord tumours symptoms affect the daily life of a patient? Depending on the severity of symptoms, the patient’s daily activities may be affected to various degrees. While for example mild weakness of certain muscle groups may still be compensated without much difficulty, the complete inability to move upper and/or lower limps poses a massive decline in quality of life.
3. Can spinal cord tumours symptoms be controlled until undergoing surgery? Each tumor requires individual management and the symptoms may be alleviated temporarily by medication which reduce swelling and inflammation. However, early surgery should remain the priority treatment for space occupying lesions.